Can You Really Prevent Your Daughter from Liking Pink and Princesses?

Family Matters on 05.02.12
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I hear it over it and over again. "My daughter won't wear pink. My daughter won't play princess." The scenario usually goes something like this. New or expectant mom says she is having a baby girl. Everyone ooohs and ahhhs and says how much fun it will be to dress her and how before they know it they'll be inundated with princess stuff. New mom says, "I don't do princesses." All mothers of daughters in the room burst out laughing and let new mom know that she will indeed be inundated with princess stuff. It is inevitable!

Modern Expectations

I'd say that most women today are pretty modern and expect their daughters to be just as capable as their sons. And as a gender we've made enormous strides over the decades in changing expectations to let the world know that as women we are perfectly capable of taking care of ourselves, playing sports, and reaching our goals whether it be on the field or in the boardroom. There is no more sitting back on our laurels waiting for Prince Charming to come sweep us off our feet and take care of us.

Most of my friends didn't encourage their daughters to play princess. That being said, most days there are at least three girls running around the house in a princess costume at a play date. Three of my friends have new baby girls or are expecting one any day. All of them have been adamant that they aren't into pink, frilly, or princesses. It's easy to avoid giving your daughter a pink room, but every time one of these three women has opened a gift of anything pink, they have loved it just as much as the navy blue cardigan, if not more.

Offer Many Options, Allow Choices

That is not to say that we should be pushing our children to wear certain colors or play with a certain toy because it supposedly represents their gender. I happen to like pink and my daughter wears a lot of it. She often pairs it with her brother's hand me down jeans and fire truck rain boots. While she also likes princesses, she much prefers baby dolls and sitting at her vanity and has a passion for shoes and bags at three-years-old. That being said, she is equally as happy building forts, playing garbage trucks, and kicking a ball around the yard. Wearing pink is not gender specific in our house. My son also happily wears a pink striped oxford shirt on a regular basis.

We can't really decide for our children what they will and won't like. However, we can introduce them to many options and allow them to make their own decisions, and if they so choose to like things that seem a bit antiquated or overly gender specific to us, we can teach them that real life isn't like that and why perhaps it shouldn't be either. But I certainly wouldn't count on being able to stop the infiltration of sparkles, ruffles, and frills if that's what your child naturally gravitates to.

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